If Mom is well -
all is well

ifmomiswellWhat happens when kids are surrounded by others who don't really care that they exist? They get really really active. They laugh louder than necessary, they talk louder, they put on a really annoying act that they are so incredibly happy no matter what happens. They are, in fact, trying to make themselves believe that they are happy. Quiet and calm are irritants to these children because they are forced remember they feel rejected and unloved, and then all sorts of behavior problems can arise. Destructive behavior, anger, aggression, depression, even young children can seek out addictions to hide the pain.

Every heard of that little problem called bi-polar? This sense of rejection is often the spark that starts a chain reaction that eventually gets kids diagnosed and prescribed mind-numbing drugs by psychiatrists. They are told they have a "chemical imbalance" that can only be treated with psychotic drugs. What they most often have, is parental malfunction.

A few weeks ago I visited an orphanage not too far from Houston with some of the Sisterhood girls to have some fun and games with the children there. The littlest ones just soaked up all the love and attention with eagerness. But the 9 and up crowd were exactly as I had described. First cold and suspicious, and then changed to become excessively loud, active, laughing, jumping, talking, shouting, as if they wanted to believe they were so very happy. These kids were trying so hard to prove a point, their desperate attempt to appear happy was heartbreaking to witness. They weren't really trying to prove anything to us - they were trying to prove it to themselves.

No one gives birth to an automatically happy child. You can't say, "Wow, this one just worked out better than the other one. I guess he's a keeper!" Children don't just "work out." Each has his or her own uniqueness in personality and talents, but their sense of well-being and security has to be formed by their parents. An unhappy, fearful mother creates instability at home.

A parent that sends signals through their behavior that they resent the presence of their child creates instability, no matter how much time or monty they spend on them, no matter how often they drag them to church. Kids are experts at finding hypocrisy in us. If we say we love them and then roll our eyes at the fact that they actually behave like children, their antennae are up to figure out why they are so unwanted, and their hyper-switch is activated. If mom is tired of me, maybe she'll notice me more if I'm really really loud! What if I just say, "Hey Mom? Ya know what mom? Mom? Hey Mom, ya know what?" over and over every few minutes? That should make her love me more! Still doesn't work? Maybe if I kick my sister in the shins and smash her doll against the chair Mom will see how much I need her...

We all know how well that works.

Mothers who find help for themselves first, stand the biggest chance of ever helping their children. Just the atmosphere at home becomes brighter when Mom is at peace, and without having to say much at all, everyone feels a whole lot happier - including Dad. And why am I picking at poor Mom as if it's all her problem? I'm not. I just know that among all the couples and families I've counseled, if Mom is truly well - all is well, and the rest can be sorted out.

Evelyn Higginbotham

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